5 items from 2017
(See previous post: “Gay Pride Movie Series Comes to a Close: From Heterosexual Angst to Indonesian Coup.”) Ken Russell's Valentino (1977) is notable for starring ballet dancer Rudolf Nureyev as silent era icon Rudolph Valentino, whose sexual orientation, despite countless gay rumors, seems to have been, according to the available evidence, heterosexual. (Valentino's supposed affair with fellow “Latin Lover” Ramon Novarro has no basis in reality.) The female cast is also impressive: Veteran Leslie Caron (Lili, Gigi) as stage and screen star Alla Nazimova, ex-The Mamas & the Papas singer Michelle Phillips as Valentino wife and Nazimova protégée Natacha Rambova, Felicity Kendal as screenwriter/producer June Mathis (The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse), and Carol Kane – lately of Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt fame. Bob Fosse's Cabaret (1972) is notable as one of the greatest musicals ever made. As a 1930s Cabaret presenter – and the Spirit of Germany – Joel Grey was the year's Best Supporting Actor Oscar winner. Liza Minnelli »
- Andre Soares
Turner Classic Movies' 2017 Gay Pride film series comes to a close this evening and tomorrow morning, Thursday–Friday, June 29–30, with the presentation of seven movies, hosted by TV interviewer Dave Karger and author William J. Mann, whose books include Wisecracker: The Life and Times of William Haines and Behind the Screen: How Gays and Lesbians Shaped Hollywood, 1910-1969. Among tonight's movies' Lgbt connections: Edward Albee, Tony Richardson, Evelyn Waugh, Tab Hunter, John Gielgud, Roddy McDowall, Linda Hunt, Harvey Fierstein, Rudolf Nureyev, Christopher Isherwood, Joel Grey, and Tommy Kirk. Update: Coincidentally, TCM's final 2017 Gay Pride celebration turned out to be held the evening before a couple of international events – and one non-event – demonstrated that despite noticeable progress in the last three decades, gay rights, even in the so-called “West,” still have a long way to go. In Texas, the state's – all-Republican – Supreme Court decided that married gays should be treated as separate and unequal. In »
- Andre Soares
Dustin Ferguson, director and creator of horror flicks and owner of cult-film status Old Skool Video rental store, has announced that Mark Patton, lauded as the first “male scream queen,” is continuing his return to acting as one of the stars of Ferguson's Amityville: Evil Never Dies.
The new film is a continuation of the “Amityville” horror series created by Ferguson and Mike Johnson. In their 2016 film "The Amityville Legacy,” a cursed antique toy monkey from the original DeFeo Amityville home, creates havoc and possesses a father after being gifted during an annual family reunion.
“Amityville: Evil Never Dies,” takes place one year after the events in "The Amityville Legacy." A young couple, played by Ben Gothier and Michelle Muir-Lewis, purchases the cursed toy monkey from the owner of a local antique shop, played by Patton. Unaware of the recent murders involving the toy, they bring it into their home, »
Robert Altman builds his films like dystopian prisons, convincing his residents they have the run of the place while working to ensure they can’t escape. When he actually buckles down for a psychological thriller (3 Women) or locked-room drama (Come Back to the Five and Dime, Secret Honor), any departure from the comedic tone we usually expect from him is balanced by a psychological continuity. His films consistently show that you can never really run away from your problems, and you’re inevitably due to return to them.
That Cold Day in the Park opens in a city so generic, I took the English-accented cast at face value and assumed we were somewhere in the U.K. Here, in a well-appointed apartment, lives Frances (Sandy Dennis), so entombed in the memory of her deceased parents that all her friends (and would-be suitors) are twice her age. She entertains them and »
- Scott Nye
George Segal rode talent and a hot streak to the top of the movie heap from the mid-1960s into the 1980s. If you only know Segal for his popular TV series “Just Shoot Me” and “The Goldbergs,” here are crucial earlier roles to check out.
This was a break-out role for Segal, a prestigious WWII drama with a mostly British cast that included John Mills, Tom Courtenay, James Fox, Patrick O’Neal, and Denholm Elliott. Segal played a charismatically amoral American sharpie, scrambling to maintain his place at the top of the black-market heap in a Japanese prison camp.
Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? (1966), dir. Mike Nichols:
Segal earned his lone Oscar nomination for this role, in Nichols’ adaptation of Edward Albee’s stinging marital drama. He brought brains and vulnerability as a college professor who, with his mousy wife (Sandy Dennis »
- Marshall Fine
5 items from 2017
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